Dear Friend, Your Inheritance is Waiting: Kaspersky Lab Outlines Most Popular Nigerian Scam Letters
Submitted by susan.rivera on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 17:07
By: Kaspersky Américas on 15/01/2013
“People still fall for those?!” Unfortunately,
yes, people still fall victim to Nigerian scams, emails sent out typically
requesting assistance in cashing out a large sum of money, proposing to split a
large share of someone else’s money with the recipient, or telling the
recipient that they are due to receive a large inheritance. But there’s a
catch: in order to successfully execute these transactions, the alleged heir
needs to first cover some minor costs. The victim wires over a
significant amount of money—sometimes their entire savings account—to pay for
these costs only to realize too late that the alleged heir was actually a thief
and the whole thing was a scam.
The first Nigerian scam letters appeared in the 1980s and
were sent via snail mail. Now, Kaspersky Lab filters intercept tens of
thousands of Nigerian scam letters each month in different languages.
They may be easy to recognize by most, but there’s a reason scammers continue
to send Nigerian letters: people do, in fact, fall for them. Below are
some of the most common Nigerian scam letters seen by Kaspersky Lab
experts. Check out the full
article for more details.
The Classic In this example, the author discusses the death of a loved
one, usually his father, and needs the help of a trustworthy person to move his
father’s money out of the country. In this type of letter, the author may
make a connection to the latest news as a way to incite sympathy.
The Lonely Young Heiress These letters typically target men who are registered with
online dating sites. A young lady has inherited a large estate somewhere
in a war-torn country. Since she is a refugee hiding from her father’s
killer, she needs help getting the money out of the bank.
The Inheritance Someone else’s inheritance is all well and good, but your
own is even better. At least, that seems to be the scammers’ logic behind this
type of scam email, which informs recipients of large estates bequeathed to
them from previously unknown, wealthy relatives.
The Dead Guy’s Loot In this version, the person who has died is not a relative,
but someone with the same name as the victim. He does not have any living
relatives or heirs, nor has he written a will – and sadly it seems that all his
vast wealth will go straight to the government. Rather than see the money go to
waste, staff at the bank where the estate is held have apparently sought out a
potential recipient, someone with the same surname who can claim the cash.
The Philanthropist in Search of a Good Samaritan Nigerian scam letters are also sent allegedly from wealthy
figures on their death beds, looking for just one good and honest soul to whom
they can bequeath their entire estate. As a rule, the protagonist of these
emails is childless, a millionaire widower or widow.
The Business Proposal In this letter, an alleged lawyer, accountant or personal
assistant to some well-known person needs help: his client’s (or boss’s) money
can’t be cashed out in their native country, but it can be transferred abroad
to someone’s account. You’ll get 50% of the sum for helping out!
The Mysterious Box Full of Cash It seems Nigerian scammers think war-torn countries provide
an ideal setting for intriguing stories told in emails from soldiers. In
this scenario, a soldier has come across a box full of money and needs help
transferring it to a reliable place.
The Compensation This letter promises compensation to the unlucky victims of
scam or fraud. The recipient of the email is supposed to quickly get the
hint that no one is going to check to make sure this is legit, and he’ll be
raking in the cash thanks to a simple government error.